On the eve of opening night I thought I'd divulge a few interesting little tidbits on our new program...
Ash will be performed this year an entire minute and half (give or take) faster than it was when the company premiered it in 2007. We're talking a fleet fourteen minutes of exciting, energetic, breathless (literally) dancing. That minute and a half doesn't sound like much but it makes for a considerably quicker tempo on an already swift ballet. It's pretty darn fun, though. Better, stronger, faster. Just like the Six Million Dollar Man, only with colored tights and a Torke soundtrack.
This program is definitely full of eye candy. Lots of skin on lots of toned bodies. And I do mean lots.
If you see any of the dancers' mouths moving they're probably counting. This is one of the most difficult programs I've ever done musically; we've all memorized the counts for each of the three ballets on the bill. That's pretty common for contemporary ballets, as the more abstract the piece of music the less likely it is to be in nice, neat even phrases.
It wouldn't be live theater if there weren't last-minute casting changes. Due to a sudden injury Ansa Deguchi had to be replaced in this weekend's performances. Olga Krochik and Daniela Deloe will be stepping into her spots in Ash and Lambarena, respectively. This means that Danie will be dancing in all three ballets on opening night, no small feat by any means.
On that note: Several of the boys will be dancing in all three ballets on opening night and in various subsequent performances. (Since there are more women to go around than men the casting works out a little kinder for the ladies.) Considering the sheer physicality and mental focus that each piece requires, this is an impressive and exhausting task. I feel like I should mention one Mr. Brian Simcoe, who will dance in every ballet in every performance. So extra accolades and applause for the men (and women) who wrap up a long but fulfilling evening of dance at the end of Lambarena.
I really feel that this is an incredible program that will garner much respect, enthusiasm and praise from our audiences. I think I speak for all of the dancers when I say that it's a great program to dance and a terrific vehicle to show off the company in a contemporary light. I'm very excited for opening night tomorrow. It's sure to be a fantastic evening on both sides of the curtain.